Ravens Should Consider Upgrading Backup QB Tyler Huntley, Beat Writer Suggests

While Pittsburgh Steelers fans are trying to come up with arguments the front office will never see to convince them that cutting their backup quarterback is the right thing to do, a Baltimore Ravens beat writer wonders if the Baltimore Ravens don’t have to upgrade their own backup spot.

That would be in spite of the fact that their backup quarterback, Tyler Huntley, ended up in the Pro Bowl. Granted, he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and was a third alternate and his presence there was largely mocked. But the perception around him has largely been positive.

Yet he’s 3-5 in the eight games that he has started and has a career 76.6 passer rating while not adding terribly much as a runner—454 career rushing yards with three touchdowns in 15 games played. He was less effective on the ground this past season despite playing more meaningful (non-cleanup) snaps.

“The Ravens have to at least consider whether they can comfortably upgrade there with a more established veteran”, Jeff Zrebiec wrote for The Athletic. He cited Lamar Jackson’s “injury and illness issues”, which may be just an aberration, “but Baltimore needs to cover itself adequately if not”.

A former college free agent, Huntley is a restricted free agent in 2023. A right-of-first-refusal restricted free agent tender would cost a little over $2.6 million, but the price jumps up to over $4.3 million for a second-round tender. A first-round tender is just over $6 million this season.

Huntley has started eight of 15 games in which he has played since entering the NFL in 2020, including four starts in each of the past two seasons. He is 200-for-305 passing for 1,754 yards with five touchdown passes to seven interceptions, throwing one more interception than touchdowns in each of the past two years, averaging just 5.8 yards per pass attempt. He does have two fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives.

He has played snaps against the Steelers three times, first in the 2021 regular season finale, a 16-13 loss for the Ravens. He went 16-for-31 for 141 yards with two interceptions and three sacks. He did rush for 72 yards, but also fumbled.

He also started twice against the Steelers, winning the first and losing the second, though he was knocked out of the first. He was 8-for-12 for 88 yards with 31 rushing yards and a fumble in the first game. In his later start, he was 14-for-21 for 130 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and 24 rushing yards.

This is just the opinion of one Ravens beat writer, but one wonders if some in the organization also believe they can do better than Huntley. They now have a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken, and it’s not even 100% guaranteed that Jackson will return at quarterback, given his contract situation.

If they end up trading Jackson, I think it’s very likely they find another backup, as arguably his primary asset is the fact that his skill set is similar.

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